There are 10 days left before Christmas. Here are 10 ideas for last minute gifts:
- For your hothead friends: Candied Jalapenos
- For your foodie friends: Spicy Pickled Beets
- For your furrier friends: Cheese Twist Dog Treats
- For your spicy friends: Candied Ginger
- For your hiking friends: Tropical Granola
- For your fancy friends: Harvest Pumpkin Scones
- For your island friends: Coconut Orange Macaroons
- For your cookie loving friends: Angeletti Cookies and Cranberry Pecan Thumbprint Cookies
- For your sweet tooth friends: Peanut Butter Pretzel Bites
- For everyone else: Hot Chocolate Mix
Perhaps you’ve figured this out by now, but one of my favorite people to turn to when looking for a new recipe is Alton Brown. This is his recipe for home made hot chocolate. And it’s wonderful. Unlike most mixes you buy at the store, this one is not overly sweet. And the addition of cayenne pepper is pretty fantastic. Of course, if you’d prefer to leave it out you can. You could also add your own additional flavorings: cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cardamom…
As a gift idea – measure the hot chocolate out into single servings, package in a plastic baggie with a bow, conceal in a fun new coffee mug and give to a loved one.
HOT CHOCOLATE MIX
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 cup cocoa (Dutch-process preferred)
- 2 1/2 cups powdered milk
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper, or more to taste
- Hot water
- Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and incorporate evenly. In a small pot, heat 4 to 6 cups of water.
- Fill your mug half full with the mixture and pour in hot water. Stir to combine. Seal the rest in an airtight container, keeps indefinitely in the pantry.